If you’re reading this then you are hopefully convinced by the arguments for why your organisation needs an IT support contract. This article was written to explain what to look for in a contract with an IT support company.
Different IT support companies offer different nodes of support - no two IT support contracts will be exactly the same. However there are certain things you should look out for and expect to find. Contracts normally set out the support company’s expectations of the organisation as well as the support company’s responsibilities.
The contract should provide a clear indication of:
The period of the contract
It should be clear when the contract starts and ends, payment frequency and what happens in the event either party wishes to terminate the contract (for example can you terminate at any time? Will you get a pro rata refund on the un-expired part of the contract?).
What will be supported?
This can be a written inventory of items such as PCs, laptops, printers etc. that will be covered under the support contract. The supplier should state clearly whether they will only support equipment that they have provided, or whether or not other equipment will be covered. You should also take clear note of whether there is a limit to the age of equipment that will be supported. For example, some companies may not support some equipment such as monitors, Laptops etc. that is over 4 years old.
What software is covered?
If you have a server network, you will want to make sure that the support company you are choosing will support commonly used server software such as Linux, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 / 2007 / 2010, Microsoft Office, Any antivirus software installed on the server e.g. McAfee Groupshield and Sophos AntiVirus etc. You may also want some support for commonly used desktop software e.g., operating system software (e.g. Windows XP,Vista,Seven).
Are home / remote users supported?
As more and more people take up the opportunities for flexible working, this is likely to become increasingly important. If you need to support home and/or remote users, make sure your prospective IT support provider can do this at a price you can afford.
What tasks are covered?
The support contract should set out clearly what tasks will be covered. For example monthly site visits for network configuration and maintenance, telephone support, remote support, software installation, replacement of hardware or components due to failure, disaster recovery etc.
Due to business growth we are seeking an experienced IT professional to manage and lead our support team. We strive to operate at a high level of service excellence and suitable candidates should show an energetic pro-active approach to the position combined with demonstrating excellent technical strengths in the following areas:
Windows XP & 7, Microsoft Office applications, Windows 2003/2008 Small Business Server, Windows Server 2003/2008,Exchange Server 2003/2007, Terminal Services, Active Directory, Windows SharePoint Services, SQL server 2005/2008, ISA Server,
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Networking and Security
Networking with LAN/WAN, switches and routers, VPN and Anti-Virus
Previous experience in Cisco, HP Procurve switches and Sophos AV.
Previous experience working with HP Proliant range of servers
PC’s and Peripherals
Previous experience desirable on major brands such as HP, Dell, Acer, IBM, Toshiba, Dratek etc
Citrix, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Symantec Backup software, MXSweep, Ghost, logmein,
Do we live too much online..? For example, someone born in 1989 will be 21 this year. And in one way or another, their entire life has been lived online.
From birth announcements and scan images, emails to childhood photos, and now social networks and blogs, traces of a person’s whole life could be pieced together online.
For many, opening up their lives and reducing their privacy is normal, but there are some people who are now having second thoughts about how much of themselves to display to today’s world.
Now Chief Euthanasia Officer, Gordan Savicic picked up on the fact that some people feel they have lost control online and decided to resolve the problem by creating a service to help people disconnect from social networks.
Based in the Netherlands, the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is a website that logs into your accounts and deletes all of your data, friend-by-friend, tweet-by-tweet and post-by-post.
The Web 2.0 machine has had about 90,000 requests so far and there is currently a month-long backlog.
Scammers have wasted no time jumping on news of a tax mix-up in the UK, up to six million people in the UK had paid the wrong amount of tax as a result of HMRC mistakes with employee PAYE codes. Around 4.3 million are due for a refund and 1.4 million face demands to hand over an average of £1,428 each.
Security agencies like GFI have already intercepted scam emails informing prospective targets that they ought to apply for a refund by filling in a form on a fraudulent site that poses as an official Treasury site. “The website asks for a comprehensive chunk of information including full name, address, DOB, phone number and mother’s maiden name,” explains GFI security researcher Chris Boyd.
Here at Peak Support we have a lot of requests for Content Management Systems and are often asked which one is the best? We tend to develop a lot of our websites with ExpressionEngine as more and more of our clients are looking for a robust, professional, easy to use CMS with great functionality, powerful features and an easy to use control panel.
But what about Joomla and Wordpress? Wordpress is very simple to install and within 5 minutes you can be up and running with one of the pre-designed themes, but unless you are able to design away from the generic theme then you can have a limited design concept. Joomla has more of a learning curve for installation but in the long run works more like a traditional CMS. Although not quite as popular as the aforementioned platforms, Joomla has now got some big players using the platform such as quizilla and Harvard University.
They’re all good choices. Wordpress is more of a blogging platform, while Joomla is a fully fledged CMS. If you’re looking for something quick and you have a lot of content to update regularly then I’d suggest Wordpress for an easy to use blogging solution. Joomla if you’re a little more advanced in developing your content and keeping on top of your management system housekeeping. Expressionengine if you’re wanting to use one of the best, more professional management systems with a wealth of community members and support.